Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"The Science of Murphy's Law," by Robert A. J. Matthews. ScientificAmerican, April 1997, pages 88-91.

This whimsical article takes a scientific look at why things go wrong: whybuttered toast always falls butter side down, why the place you are trying tofind on a map is always in a crease, why mismatched socks proliferate. Theauthor uses elements of geometry and probability to look into these everdayconundrums.